Take that, critics: Roland Emmerich's disaster marathon 2012 is a big hit, opening in first place with an estimated $65 million domestically and $225 million worldwide, easily making back its production costs in just one weekend.
But the real question remains: How likely is it that the REAL world will end in 2012?
Well, the Web sportsbook BetUS.com has posted actual odds on whether the world ends in December '12, as some doomsayers would have us believe, based on their interpretation of the Mayan Long Count calendar, among other things.
Here are the site's odds:
Will the world end on 12/12/12? 700,000/1
Will the world end before 12/12/12? 1,000,000/1
Ways the world will end:
Asteroid impact 1 in 700,000
Supernova 1 in 10,000,000
Gamma-ray burst 1 in 14,000,000
Black hole 1 in 1,000,000,000,000
Solar flare *
Alien attack *
Death of the sun *
Galactic doom *
Death of the universe *
*These events all take billions of years (at least) to unfold, so the chances of them happening during your lifetime are zero, but they are inevitable over longer times.
Why would a sportsbook post such odds? Well, chances are that if you're right that the world will end, it's not likely they'll actually have to pay you $1 million on your $1 bet, is it?
And, of course, we can't vouch for these odds ... but the chances that the world will end before 2012 are ONLY 1 in a million? Ack!